China Glaze: Matte Magic

I had a very easy day on Tuesday, because I spent most of it sat on a Winnebago waiting to be needed on set. ‘Set’ sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it, but it was actually an alleyway near Portobello Road that stank of wee and rotting bananas. Anyway, things that I did to pass the time for seven hours included, in no particular order:

1. Watching the male model change outfits. (Before you call the police, it wasn’t as though I was peering through the keyhole; we were all crammed into a very small space together. It was impossible not to look. Impossible.)

2. Drinking annoyingly small bottles of water (250ml) and then having to go to the loo in the onboard chemical toilet. Using the Winnebago toilet makes you feel like you’re at a festival, except that a) you can see straight, b) it’s clean, and c) you don’t emerge trailing soiled ribbons of toilet paper. (Do enjoy Glastonbury, won’t you, those who are going?)

3. Playing with nail varnishes. (This is really the point of this blog post – the rest was just filler. Setting the scene.) China Glaze’s Matte Magic is the main event, here, and I wanted to draw your attention to its existence, because I think that it’s a very clever money-saving idea. It’s a clear top-coat that dries quickly to leave a completely matte finish. You apply it over whatever colour you want to use, and it completely removes any shine. Clever, eh? Some of you may have heard of this already – it has been out for a while, and Essie and OPI also have similar products – but for those of you who haven’t, this is an easy way to tap into the ‘matte nails’ trend.

I tried it over a metallic polish on my fingernails (MAC’s Mercenary Bronze), which worked well, but I liked it best over the really bright orange on my toes. It seems to lighten the finished colour very slightly, so you may want to take that into account, but the finished effect is great – the perfect midway point between looking ‘polished’ and looking ‘cool’.

Have a look at the pics that I took – they’re not the best in the world, but I did take them on my iPhone in minimal light, so forgive me. The left nails in the photos are matte – hopefully you can see that, otherwise my photos are a complete waste of time!

This is a great way of being able to give all of your existing polishes an overhaul to bring them up-to-date…value for money, I think! Downside: it’s really hard to get hold of. My make-up artist got his from Sally’s, but it goes out of stock super-fast. Ebay has U.S. sellers with Matte Magic for around £5/£6 including shipping, or alternatively you could opt for the Essie version, which I am informed is very similar, and very widely available (including on ASOS) but slightly more expensive at around £10,

Either way, if you like the whole matte effect trend going on, then a mattifying top-coat gets great results with minimum investment!

**UPDATE** Get Lippie ( informs me that No.7 bring out a similar product very soon – so keep your eyes peeled!

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